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Sorry simple if sewage sludge suggestion selected

Saying sorry simple if sewage sludge suggestion selected

Green MP Mike Ward says he will happily apologise for his recent criticism on the demise of the Dunedin council's zero waste group if the city adopts one of its councillor's sewage sludge proposal.

Otago media has reported yesterday that the Dunedin City Council is unhappy with Mr Ward's comments and would be writing to him to explain the switch from a 'zero waste' working party to one focusing on 'resource recovery and waste'. Today it was reported that Councillor Jeremy Belcher, if given the budget, could solve problems at Tahuna by ensuring "every tonne of sludge each day is welcomed". "Councillor Belcher is spot on in his view that this sludge should be seen as a public utility and an opportunity for the city, rather than disposed of as waste," said Mr Ward, the Green Party's Waste-free Spokesperson.

"Burying sewage sludge in an energy-strapped agricultural nation that imports millions of dollars worth of fertiliser every year and faces blackouts isn't terribly smart. Every New Zealand community should be constructing biodigesters to produce methane and mixing sewage residues with green waste to improve the nutrient values of the resulting compost.

"Co-siting the digesters and the composting facilities near the appropriate end-product users, such as greenhouses, minimises reticulation and transport costs and enables the methane to be used as a premium heating fuel. It also avoids the necessity to deal with methane leaking from landfills in the future.

"I would be interested to know what the council thought my comments were on the demise of the Zero Waste group, given that I was simply expressing hope that their commitment to waste reduction remains, whatever they call the group running the strategy. I'm certainly not against resource recovery.

"Either way, I look forward to a continuation of my friendly dialogue with the Dunedin City Council on waste, which was much advanced when I visited them last month on my cycle tour of South Island waste initiatives," said Mr Ward.

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